Around 700 BC, a young Jewish man sees a vision which radically alters the course of his life from that moment and for the next 60 years. Here’s his account of it: “In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Master sitting on a throne – high, exalted! – and the train of his robes filled the temple. Angel-seraphs hovered above him, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two their feet, and with two they flew. And they called back and forth to one to the other: ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is God-of-the-Angel-Armies. His bright glory fills the whole earth.’ The foundations trembled at the sound of the angel voices, and the whole house filled with smoke. I said, ‘Doom! It’s Doomsday! I’m as good as dead! Every word I’ve ever spoken is tainted – blasphemous even! And the people I live with talk the same way, using words that corrupt and desecrate. And here I’ve looked God in the face! The King! God-of-the-Angel-Armies!’” Isa. 6 MSG.

About 800 years later, near the end of the 1st Century AD, John is in exile and has a vision: “I was in the spirit realm on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice sounding like a trumpet . . . When I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me . . . I saw someone like the son of man, wearing a full-length robe with a golden sash over his chest. His head and his hair were white like wool – white as glistening snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire! His feet were gleaming like bright metal, as though they were glowing in a fire, and his voice was like the roar of many rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. And his face was shining like the brightness of the blinding sun! When I saw him, I fell down at his feet as good as dead . . .” Rev, 1, TPT.

These two passages make my fertile imagination leap into action! I picture John, upon his arrival ‘home,’ and soon after seeing Jesus face to face, making a beeline to find Isaiah, to compare notes. Isaiah would remember the thunderous, earth-shaking angel voices, while John would try to describe the sound of the Lord’s own voice speaking to him. They would recall their sudden falling down, awestruck, at the immensity of the glory on display – before them! Then I imagine them excitedly talking about the new direction their lives took. Isaiah, with a little laugh, would say how, even though he was told his new assignment would be unsuccessful, he was so transformed as to make that a small matter. John would join in agreement as they walked, arm-in-arm, discovering their new City.

From time to time, I’ve thought how cool it would be to have a vision of the Lord. But, then I think of these two examples and realize that that would be no small thing. Both of these guys thought they were dead or about to die. Both of these guys had an instantaneous life makeover. Both lives launched onto a radically new trajectory. Cool, yes, but super intense. And it’s this same God-of-the-Angel-Armies we serve today. I wonder if God has any more work left for us to do in 2024.  PD

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